21331 Sonic the Hedgehog Green Hill Zone Review

Theme: LEGO Ideas
No: 21331
Release Year: 2021
Cost: AU $119.99
Pieces: 1125 (with 1 minifigure)

After a roller coaster ride of an approvals process, with the idea being held back for further consideration more than once, we finally have 21331 Sonic the Hedgehog Green Hill Zone in our hands and on shelves! Now, while I’m a big gamer, I’m more PC than console, but this is still pretty cool to have. The final product has changed pretty drastically, but I think it’s for the better, as it offers more of a play aspect to it.

The one minifigure, Sonic, has also appeared before with LEGO Dimensions, so this head is not exactly new, but it also is. There’s a few subtle differences. The mouth is on the other side, the eyes are black, the chest is round instead of oval, and the torso and leg moulds are slightly improved. It’s bright, bold and a fun addition to the minifigure collection. He’s also got a stand to display him on, and a line up for the various Chaos Emeralds that you collect as you build – a nice touch. Aside from that, there’s no new moulds, although there should have been. There are a few stickers – an alternate face for Moto Bug, pixels for pillars, and different powerup tiles.

There’s an absolute ton of 1×1 plates that need to be stacked on each other to make the chequered pixelated look, but as everyone knows, stacking 1×1 plates on top of each other is not only tedious, it’s painful having to make sure they’re aligned just right. Some areas they use larger plates, but for the most part, the front and back are mainly 1x1s. There is a new two plate high 1×1 brick that would suit this exceptionally well, but it’s not used. Seen in 80108 Lunar New Year Traditions, why wasn’t this recoloured and used instead? It would drop down the piece count and make the set much more appealing to build. The one other part you get plenty of (in two colours) is the 1×1 plate with vertical stud. There’s over 60 of them in lime and bright green, so that’s a bonus. Anyway, on with the rest of the set.

The track is made up of four sections – the tree, the wooden bridge, the loop and the jump launcher. They’re okay to build, but the 1×1 business is pretty painful. I was honestly glad when it was done. The sections are all connected with a couple of Technic pins. The tree is very unique, and the spring is relatively functional, with a basic mechanism at the back to work it.

There’s also a couple of enemies to build – Crabmeat who looks vibrant in red, and Moto Bug. There’s a floating platform, the checkpoint, some rings, and the powerup terminals at the top. Then there’s the big baddie – Dr Ivo Robotnik, or Eggman. His body looks good, but the head is really odd, and he has an Eggmobile to get around in.  Is that a nose, or a mouth? It’s just not right. The vehicle also has some slots in it so Robotnik can be placed in securely. This was a nice touch.

All in all, this is a set that would appeal to gamers, but it’s not as enjoyable to build as others I’ve done recently. It also doesn’t resonate with me as I haven’t clocked in that many hours of Sonic when I was younger! I did watch the movie, which I enjoyed, so it got me in the mood to build it, and it’ll look great on a shelf, but the build wasn’t all that enjoyable. I just got sick of putting 1×1 plates together. The length is better than I expected, and the extra items on top improve it, plus the printed green tiles along the edge really accentuate the look.

One final thing to note – there’s Technic pins on the right hand side of the build – will we be getting another level?

A special thank you to LEGO for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.